Women’s FIFA World Cup coverage begins with qualifiers in February



This image posted by @fifawomensworldcup on Instagram outlines each team and which Group they will be participating in this upcoming summer. Team USA seems to have taken the top spot in Group E, and will have to face-off against Vietnam, the Netherlands, and either Portugal, Cameroon, or Thailand to qualify for the knockout rounds held later in the tournament.

If you were captivated by the excitement of the men’s FIFA World Cup this past year, then you’re in luck; it’s just about time for the women’s.

This upcoming summer, the Women’s FIFA World Cup will take place in two host countries, New Zealand and Australia. This tournament will be the first featuring an expanded format in which there are 32 participating countries, as opposed to only 24 in previous years.

“I’m super excited to see how the Women’s USA Soccer Team performs in the World Cup this summer,” said Anna Makee, three-year participant in the soccer program at Concord High. “I hope they continue to dominate on the playing field and get us another win.”

Official competition dates have been set. The FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament will begin with New Zealand and Norway playing the first match on July 20; the final will be held a month later, on Aug. 20. But if you don’t want to wait that long, you’re in luck. Three open spots still need to be filled. Qualifiers for these spots are scheduled to take place Feb. 18-23.

Ten countries with soccer teams hoping to participate in this World Cup will be battling for those spots to compete. When three of these countries are crowned winners, they will be placed into groups D, E, and F for the World Cup.

Groups are a way of breaking up each of these teams so that there is an even chance of winning among every country. The top eight soccer teams in the world are put in a “pot” and randomly divided into Group A-F. After this, the next eight soccer teams on the rankings board are placed in a pot, and then also randomly chosen to compete in Group A-F. This takes place until there are four teams selected for each group.

Currently, the 2nd spot in Group D, and the 4th spots in Group E and F are open for whichever teams wins during the qualifiers in February. The countries competing for the spot in Group D are Chile, Haiti and Senegal. Portugal, Cameroon and Thailand will compete for the Group E spot, and Chinese Taipei, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay and Panama will vie for the Group F spot.

Even though soccer is not the most popular sport in the United States, these games are still worth watching. Today, the USA soccer team has managed to obtain four World Cup Champion titles, overtaking Norway during the first World Cup tournament in 1991, China in 1999, Japan in 2015, and most recently the Netherlands in 2019.

“I grew up watching these women compete and ever since I have never missed a Women’s World Cup game,” said CHS senior Amber Ferrier, who is also president of the Feminism Now Club. “They’ve made such a big impact on our country and I admire how unafraid they are to stand up for what they deserve. People always comment how women’s sports are unimportant, and as a soccer player myself, this team proves that they are not.”

“Tuning in to this game always reminds me of how amazing these players are, and I recommend everyone take the time to watch,” she continued. “They never disappoint. This year we can hope for another title from the USA, even though this World Cup includes an additional eight teams, which will create a more exciting and intense environment and could possibly give our team more of a challenge.”

In 2019, the women’s World Cup tournament drew approximately 1.12 billion total viewers worldwide. Viewership turnout this year is expected to be even greater. About 5 billion total viewers watched the Men’s World Cup last year.

Concord High Spanish teacher Señor Kerry Chamberlin is a big fan of soccer, and had this to say about the upcoming tournament: “I would say that watching women’s soccer is much more exciting than watching men’s soccer. I think that having two girls of my own and having coached girls all my life, girls are much more coachable and they take well to coaching, and they do what you ask them to do. So I think I am much more looking forward to the Women’s World Cup than the Men’s World Cup. The Women’s Team USA is much better than the Men’s Team USA.”

Take it from Señor, this year’s World Cup is going to be super exciting and full of support for Team USA. Whether you watch one tournament game or all sixty-four, you should definitely tune into FOX in order to watch the Women’s World Cup taking place this summer and support the USA to hopefully take home the trophy for the fifth time.